How to Use Google Ads Location Targeting

How to Use Google Ads Location Targeting

ROAST • 21/07/2019

What is Google Ads location targeting?

Google Ads location targeting is an AdWords feature which allows you to target specific countries, cities, towns, postcodes or a radius around a location for your ads.

When should you use it?

Proximity to physical stores: If the aim of your ad is to drive people to your store, location targeting can be useful to ensure you are using your ad spend on people who are close by and therefore more likely to visit. You can use it when someone searches for keywords related to your business followed by “near me”.

Strong Brand awareness: Users who live near a specific store are more likely to know of your Brand therefore you may want to target these people when choosing your audience. This works well if you are looking to expand your online marketing internationally, as you would choose countries who have stronger awareness of your Brand as they are more likely to interact with your ads.

Strong Brand presence: You may also find that people in certain locations respond better to your ad. This could be people who live in cities or rural areas, or it could be because there’s more awareness in certain locations which means people are more likely to convert. When this is the case, a better use of your ad spend would be to target just the areas which are more likely to convert.

When shouldn’t you use it?

Poor mobile site: Often when people are searching for a store “near-me” they will be on their mobile. If your mobile site is slow or poor quality, then you could be wasting money and your bounce rate could increase.

Awareness campaign: If you are running an awareness campaign for an online Brand and haven’t yet gathered any learnings about which locations perform well, you may want to target a wide audience to begin with which you can narrow down later once you have done some testing.

How to set it up

  • Log into your AdWords account
  • On the menu on the left-hand side, click on “Locations”
  • Under the word “Targeted” in the top left, there’s a blue pencil symbol. Click on this and select a campaign (by selecting just one campaign, you can copy and paste the location settings to the other campaigns later).
  • You can then add a country, city, region or postcode to target. Alternatively, you can add a location and decide on the number of miles or km around that area you’d like to target.
  • Once you’ve selected one or more locations to target, you can click save.
  • There’s also the option to exclude locations. This is useful if you have locations which you know don’t perform well. You can do this by clicking on the “Excluded” button at the top next to “Targeted” and you can follow the steps above.


Location targeting shouldn’t be used on every campaign or account however it’s important to understand when to use it to improve efficiencies. Understanding where your campaigns perform best is key. Additionally, knowing who your target audience is and what you are trying to get them to do after seeing or clicking on your ad will help you to reach your goals.